Exposing the Danger of Turf Mentality: Mark 9:38-41
“38) John said to Him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we tried to prevent him because he was not following us.” 39) But Jesus said, “Do not hinder him, for there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name, and be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me. 40) For he who is not against us is for us. 41) For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because of your name as followers of Christ, truly I say to you, he will not lose his reward.” ‭‭Mark‬ ‭9‬:‭38‬-‭41‬
This is an interesting context. I have a theory about these verses. Let me elaborate. I may be wrong, but there is something very intriguing about the timing of John’s interaction with Jesus.
Mark does not include the story of the seventy being sent out. According to Luke 10:1-20, it happened shortly after the Mount of Transfiguration and the other events recorded in Mark chapter nine.
This might help explain why others were ministering in the name of Jesus and casting out demons. Maybe John and the other Apostles were a bit jealous that others were being sent out by Jesus. While the twelve were arguing over who was greatest among them, Jesus was enlarging His circle of helpers.
It intrigues me that neither Matthew, Mark or John included the story of the seventy in their writings. Only Luke, the historian provided that detail. The timing seems more than coincidental with John’s questioning of Jesus in this context.
I recognize this is speculation, but it underlines the importance of welcoming and empowering other gifted people in ministry. I am very conscious of the fact that God’s team is much larger than my small perspective and sphere of influence.
So how does this apply to us today? I believe the days of turf mentality are over, especially in world missions. Cooperation is so much more effective than competition. I am a firm believer in partnerships and a kingdom mindset.
The above four verses are profound! They speak volumes; “He who is not against us is for us!”
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

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